U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

May 2001


Published in 12th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference, 21-25 May 2001, Melbourne.


The fundamental focus for the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge on Florida's east coast is to provide and protect nesting habitat for three threatened or endangered sea turtle species. Nesting and hatching by three sea turtle species spans from early spring to fall each year. Left unchecked, predation by raccoons would destroy a high proportion of turtle nests. Raccoon removal is applied to reduce nest predation, but available funding only allows for about a one person-month control contract. We maximized the economical efficiency of this control budget by using a passive tracking index to: 1) optimize the timing and strategy for application of control, 2) minimize labor by identifying areas where control would have maximal effect, 3) examine beach invasion patterns of raccoons, 4) to assess control efficacy, and 5) provide anticipatory information for the next year's turtle nesting season.